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Stephanie McCurry Education. (2012) Book TV at the University of Pennsylvania Stephanie McCurry, 'Confederate Reckoning Power and Politics in the Civil War South.' New.

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Iraq 8, New York 3, Richmond 3, The Union 2, Stephanie Mccurry 2, Virginia 2, Indians 1, George Tebeau Bush 1, United States 1, Confederacy 1, Connaughton 1, Astana 1, Miller 1, Karl Rove 1, Michael Ward 1, Davis 1, Jefferson Davis 1, Barnes 1, Obama Administration 1, Ireton 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Stephanie McCurry  Education.  (2012) Book TV at the  
   University of Pennsylvania Stephanie McCurry, 'Confederate...  

    December 23, 2012
    1:30 - 1:59pm EST  

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>> host: start by giving us the demographics of the south in 1860. >> guest: that's a crucial question because they went to work on the trade to make donation. they were smaller than the union to start with, roughly 10 million people compared to the indians 22. is already tough road. but a military fact isn't as much paid attention to this it should be as 4 million of those 10 million people were black and enslave. when it came time to mobilize for war, they didn't have access to 10 million people. they have access to avoid population of 16 million, half of women, many underage peers to the demographics are tough to start with. >> host: how many white males at that point in the confederate south? obviously that was the base. >> guest: i try to figure out how many member voting age. the link between voting a
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soldier and was typed in an 18th century. i figure there's one point at you voting age white men. military age starts out smaller than not. 18 to 35. by the end of the war, 1555. >> host: what advantages going into the civil war, besides caught. we hear about cotton. we've heard about that for years has one of the advantages. were the advantages for the south? ..
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themselves to other european countries in terms of population , natural resources, the value of the trade. they were riding high. i think the confederacy's often misunderstood. we often think of it as a defensive move. they were losing in the union. they decided to take this gamble. they did take a gamble but they were the only slave holding class in the 19th century who did it.
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the brazilian slave holders didn't do it. why did these guys? that's an interesting question and i tried to explain a little in the book with astana and sat? it is fascinating to get inside of the mind of this incredibly powerful not just in terms of social power and wealth but political power of this elite and they were used to running the united states and they really did not doubt their ability to do this separately. so the confidence is there, and it's a big piece of the story. >> was their overwhelming support for secession along the south? >> guest: >> nope, it's an interesting political campaign. i mean i've written about it three or four times in my life and i never cease to be amazed. it's as interesting as any campaign in history. karl rove would have been impressed. they needed -- i mean, most of the political elite, only a third of the white adult male
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house owned slaves and most of them didn't own very many said the political elite that was orchestrating this especially they were extremely confident that they could do this and they believed that they would be able to pull that off and they didn't have any trouble lining each other but the challenge for them is that this was theoretically a white man's democracy. every white man got to vote. there were no property qualifications left. so they had to do this by electrical means. they had to win an election and they were not at all confident about that coming into was an incredible amount of violence and intimidation that went into it and the results are very uneven. they call a convention and voted up secession by lunchtime on the first day completely unanimously that's how they went out of the union. but what had preceded that? when you are in a meeting and everything is unanimous don't you get a little suspicious?
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why do. and there was a lot of back story to how they pulled that off. other places the back story really showed. in alabama the country representatives just charged they were being run out of the union of democracy was being completely violated. people in virginia look a was happening in the deep south and said no -- no ordinary farmer has voted for this. that the elites have run our side of the union without the proper consideration of space process, and it really was. it's very -- i think it's interesting that it's very real feeling of what democracy was and meant and the regime and 1860's. they called it a democracy although they sometimes also made the case especially the political elite that what they wanted was the republican and the democracy was a mob and that's part of the reason they wanted out of the union didn't like the direction that it was going but they had to play the game to get the session through,
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and a strong arm did through in the numbers of states and in the upper side remember the normal space process didn't yield secession. none of those states seceded until fort sumter was fired on and even then there were eight states and four of them succeeded and four of them didn't so they were incredibly divisive process and it meant the confederacy in the up fighting with 11 slave states instead of 151860 only 11 states and the confederacy since you already see them breaking of a part of the self. it just never put its feet in the confederacy. >> did jefferson davis ever win an election? >> he was a senator he was
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nominated in a constitutional convention as a moderate in montgomery alabama in february of 1861 and i don't think he did stand for elections. one of the things americans think is the confederate constitution one of the things they are told is the confederate constitution was a replica of the u.s. constitution the made a number of crucial changes and one of them was that they had it won german executives and i believe was up a five-year executive term. >> professor, was there a lot of political insight during the war in the south? >> there were no political parties. none of the things that interest in the party is it quickly was on the ropes and never really materialized. there was political opposition but it was in a quick kind of
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format. theoretically, everybody was a democrat. there was no republican party. no republican ticket you couldn't vote for a lincoln and certainly in the deep south, but they were all aligned with the southern wing of the democratic party and aprendo war the opposition rose and some of the more profoundly opposed to the davis administration on very good grounds it was a federally concentrated power regime of the entirety of american history. one looked at the union government, the structure of the states and the federal government in the union in the state's and the federal the limit in the confederacy and says the confederacy was the state. they succeeded on state rights
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and then they had to build and proceeded to because they had to build this enormous state apparatus. they conscripted within a year. think about that as a statement of state power. they conscripted within a year and they passed the taxes within basically a year, and they had agents of the federal government all over the south literally taking food out of people's barnes. it was the only way that they could feed the army. so, fay and pressed which was an enormous fight, that is the fascinating part of the story is these huge slaveholders go to war to protect and then they find out the new government is there to protect them in the war but it turns out the federal government wants to and needs to use them to win the war. it is this the enormous cost of between the slave holders and the government and they also read equals and the government that says congress could never
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abolish slavery. so they literally had a problem of sovereignty they couldn't even reach them as more bodies to use for military labor for example they couldn't reach them without the permission of the owner. they had codified and unambiguous terms the status of slaves and private property and they had to live with that. can you imagine a lot of them were mortgaged up to the eyeballs the were not interested in sending them to build forts with 20,000 other slaves all of whom talking about little war was about and what it meant to have a powerful ally. one of them said that sleeves don't like to do this and they know they don't like to do it for personal reasons but they also know they don't like to do it because they don't want to do any labor that would thwart the union who they see fighting for their emancipation. so that is a fascinating --.
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one of the things that is the most interesting as watching the psychology of the slave holders change, these are people who are so accustomed to thinking of speed of a sort but one whose desires and objectives have no meaning for them they are just instruments of the masters business and the will to some extent and they start noticing the difference in the behavior on the plantation, and one of the things i did that was different than most historians of the war is i use the plantation record to watch these guys as the start of saying it is an element of strength in the war we can put every white man to the army because we have all of them who grow the cot and do the dirty work of the army and as soon as they try to do that they come up against these planters because they are already in rebellion on the plantation. communication of the enemy guiding them up the river and through the swamps is completely fascinating that human struggle
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for the seizing of history and the highly intimate nature of the struggle with their owners the slave men and women and children it's just an amazing part of the story, and it's not one that often makes it into the documentary and it's very fine grained that the human level it's absolutely a thick and compelling. >> stephanie mccurry what about the role of the southern white women during the founding of the confederacy and the war itself? >> this is one of the things i have worked on my entire career is this heavyweight history. are we really going on in the 21st century to write history like women don't matter like they don't attempt to shape the present and future? in the confederacy at the time of secession obviously they don't have a vote and that doesn't mean they don't have
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political opinions. but the interesting thing is that they get made into this symbol of the nation and of patriotism and the people that are for secession and people are against and the unionists say they are without, and in fact they divide along the same lines. there are many women who are pro confederate and become increasingly as the war goes on and there are many women who think that this is a crazy idea and white women, too worried about their sons, sometimes more rational and pragmatic about what the war is going to bring. the step into the making of history in the confederacy has to do with the question you asked me at the beginning of the demographics. especially after they got the boot when grant and sherman were
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running the show especially in the west and east one of the union tactics was to bring more and more and more men and to press the confederacy simultaneously at a lot of points and that is brilliant because they refused than the ability to move the men around and the pressure of the members of the confederacy track inside of the department correspondents the conscription rate the rate of service, military service in the confederacy among the white men historians think was somewhere between 75 to 85% of military age of service, a combination of conscription involved hearing. there are not many other examples in history. when i tell people my colleagues in european history are you sure that it was that high? and by the end them of the region's 15 to 55. so what you think the whole front looks like with 85% of men
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gone to describe it as prescriptive men and the other thing you have to keep in mind is this is an agricultural country women have to go into the field which they always worked in the field not only women but poor white and ordinary farm women also work in the field but they have the labor there supplementing the labor of their husbands and adult or teenage sons out there doing it on their own one of the things i write about in the book is the way the women become political persons if the government has to reckon with at the personal of all state governors because the store to besiege the government with letters initially telling these. they start out kind of begging them and then they get really angry that would bring them down on you and the girl was down on
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you the confederacy really has a starvation level of food crisis and when that happens they know it's coming. governors and county clerks are writing each other and writing the secretary of war saying you can't take any more food out of the counties for the army. these people are starving. of the women stepped in at the moment to represent communities and they start really attacking the confederate government about the justice of the military policies. the rich man's war and the poor man's fight becomes as well the men are not home, the women step up and they start to rewrite power on the home front into their hands and the notes themselves as powerful constituencies of the state and county officials have to take account of and in the spring of 1863 there is a wave of riots the stores in atlanta and its more than a dozen sweeps the
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confederacy all by women from like a dozen in richmond to 300 followed by the crowd of a thousand other people, and this is -- everybody -- the press initially thinks it is a conspiracy. they have conspiracy theories the union as fermenting this. it's not. it's women and in richmond, a year indited the women in the municipal court and all of the records are there to show that one woman organized this and they are planned for at least ten days. she called all of these women to a public meeting on the baptist church. she told them to come to the market the next morning to leave their children at home and to come armed and they did. they showed up the next morning and day ripped up the warehouses and richmond, and for a month the confederacy was convinced davis tried to stop the linus of
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the news wouldn't get out to the union but it got out, and the union was just concluding over this this must be the end, right? they were up in arms. so they step into the making of history at the moment and they really decisive way and they really put the confederate states and government on notice that if they take their men they are going to have to answer to them and it is a really interesting and important political moment for the confederacy and for the united states. >> what was a level of desertion? >> i don't remember the numbers, but it is a little higher than the union that the union also has a desertion problem. the confederacy struggled mightily with desertion and they struggle with unionist. the state's i told you about with the confederacy had a lot of unionist activities and that is another place the women
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matter because when the davis administration makes the governors go after all of the men that were refusing to serve or who have deserted the campaign they try clemency, they try all kinds of things but they also sent out troops to bring them back in and when they go out to look for them they can't find them because they are not staying at home, they are in the woods, they are hiding and the only people they can find are the women in a tortured them for information about the whereabouts of the men. i don't know if you have read or seen done awful cold mountain or the movie but if you have documents from the archives that i have read which really describe the torture of unionist when to try to distract information about the whereabouts of the many and in many cases they find them sometimes the execute them just on the road of the times they bring them in and subjected them
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to various kind of procedures and put them back in the army but yes, the thing that the confederacy is that they have to use units and they are constantly deploying troops to prevent slaves from running away to the enemy and joining the union army. they also have to divert troops to detain them. they don't have any extra troops so the pressure by the end by lead etds 64 ander early -- than by 1863 to secretary of the war says there are no more white men to be had. and at that point the conversation starts seriously about whether they have to use black soldiers, but i think it is a perfect arc of justice from the slavery that we have to consider an insulating slaves to force them into the confederacy. so that is another story that i
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tell in the book is they don't contemplate emancipation out of the goodness of their heart and a lot of people think the union confederacy chose independence over slavery to enlist them in the army but the confederate congress and the virginia legislature refused to write an emancipation clause that expected them to serve while they were still enslaved so you can imagine how much of a nonstarter that was the that is how desperate they were. the demographics that you asked me about at first are intimately connected with the political challenges, and i think the political failure of the confederacy. and one of the things i try to do in the book in focusing the story of the confederacy is to ask, you know, let's talk about the confederacy, not just the union, and asked why do they do this why would they take seriously consider it project to
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take the historical reckoning that came with secession and i think in the end to say that yes this is a story of military defeat but that intimately connected to the political ambition and the political failure of that national independence project in part not because of what the union did that because of their own people. many people still talk about southerners but it's the 21st century and when we write this history and we talk about the south we are talking about the white women, we are talking at the enslaved men, women and children and what i am trying to do by bringing human beings into the story in using these records to bring them to life is to say all of these people played a part in the state of the confederacy, not just the union army but it was a connection between the action within the
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confederacy and the military pressures that were coming from the outside that really explain what happened. >> consider that reckoning when the frederick book prize and the organization of american historians craven of word and was a finalist for the pulitzer and we are the university of pennsylvania talking with history professor stephanie mccurry. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> you are watching book tv on c-span2 and we are the national press club for the annual authors night and we are joined now by michael ward and of the new york times. in the game is his most recent book. if you could summarize this for
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us. >> this took me three years and it's the first comprehensive history of the war and iraq and i think what makes it unique is i incorporate not only the views of the american policymakers but all of the iraqi leadership from maliki, their rivals, their adversaries, the former insurgents, and so i incorporated the iraqi account of what was going on as well as the american account and what is happening on the battlefield and the war in iraq. i try to put all together in one book. >> why you call it to the endgame? >> because i covered the surge and its the endgame of american military involvement and i spent the last third of the book covers the obama administration that hasn't been well covered by the media and i learned a lot from doing this and during the
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campaign president obama talked about the gold at the end of the war in iraq and we certainly took down the troops but what i discovered in doing the book is actually the administration policy objectives in iraq, the narrow objectives went far beyond taking out the troops that extended to remake the government and creating the power-sharing arrangement that included the failed effort to negotiate an agreement of american forces to stay in iraq. >> they tried to negotiate one and i tell that story so having failed to negotiate the agreement they claimed the credit but initially they did try to negotiate something to keep a modest number of troops initially 10,000 then later 5,000 a whole variety of reasons it didn't work out. but that -- i cover the start of the war and really the end game for the american military involvement.
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>> michael gordon, you said you covered the entire war for the new york times. at one point they owned a house over there did and they in baghdad? what was that like? >> they've shifted the house but yeah, they had a house. "the new york times" never in the green zone, always in the red zone, and it was not a bad place actually, but it was heavily fortified with glass walls, with a fairly large security contingent almost entirely iraqi, machine guns and all that kind of stuff i think it was better defended than the compound connaughton if benghazi and i mean that seriously but it turned out not to be necessary. and if -- i didn't spend all that much time there because a lot of the reporting that i pass through and it is shifted to a different location, but they have maintained a bureau with
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armored cars and full-time iraqi staff. it was a fairly expensive endeavor for the newspaper. >> is life for any americans still in iraq still glass walls and armored cars? >> it is a group that is there not this last summer but the saudi the customer before and i went around in the street with all of the iraqis went to a demonstration, went to a store i wouldn't linger in the contested neighborhoods if you went into sadr city and some security it was a million times better than it was in 06 and 07 and i have to say from a military perspective the surge did strike down level violence and it's the surge that made it possible for the forces to leave the there are a very unsettled political issues including the worrisome trend by the iraqi government.
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>> the inside story of the struggle from iraq to george tebeau bush to barack obama. it's november of 2012 right now. how many americans are in iraq as we speak? >> what they are is about 200 all the miller duty to american military personnel succumbed to the embassy and the primary duty is to sell american military equipment to the f-16 and the white before the attache function and then there is a true resizable american embassy which is going to be contracted by the state department reduced by may 25%. but what you don't have, and there is a consulate in kurdistan and outside of basra in iraq but the united states has lost a lot of situational awareness of the seven in iraq
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because it doesn't have anything like the kind of footprint that it used to have, iraq is still a strategically vital country and it's one of the largest oil reserves that is of producing ireton in terms of loyal and it is located between persia and the arab countries and turkey, iran, the arab countries and the united states are battling now and that is the drama that is going on. estimate use the normal relationship with iraqi where people could travel their etc? >> there are still american business interests particularly in kurdistan if you go to kurdistan which is almost like a separate country there is not a very sick secure security threat. you can travel around and take a taxi. it's not commercial